Title: Star-Crossed!! Vol. 1
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
I’m normally not the biggest fan of comedic romance manga, but the body switch concept had me interested enough to check out Star-Crossed!! Vol. 1. In retrospect, I feel like I’ve been robbing myself of a genre by not diving into these stories. This is easily one of the funniest manga I’ve read all year, even as it juggles so many different themes.
Star-Crossed!! Vol. 1 introduces us to idol group Prince 4 U’s Chika-kun super fan, Azusa, as she prepares for one of their concerts. This is where all of her dreams will come true as she has front-row seats where she can cheer on Chika for the entire night. However, a stage light ends up falling towards Chika, and Azusa jumps into action. Sadly, they both end up dying. However, God says it was an accident, and they are sent back to Earth, but their bodies are switched.
As panic ensues, they attempt to try and figure things out quickly, but that’s really tough given that Chika is one of the most popular idols in the country. The best moments of the story take place during their brief interactions where it hard to tell who’s who, and you’re just left to laugh at their reactions. The author really doesn’t hold back here either as they tackle baths and restroom usage like a couple of champs.
Each character plays a specific role, but I feel like the story highlights Azusa, whether she’s in her body or not. In this first volume, we get to know a lot about her and her daily life, along with her neighbor’s childhood friend and family. However, the most significant understanding of Chika that we get is where he lives. To be honest, I can’t say I like Chika too much. Sure, he’s an idol, but he’s kind of pushy. I only hope the following chapters highlight his personality more because, at this point, he’s kind of dull.
The panels are exceptionally well illustrated as we see all of the hysterical facial interactions from the characters. Whenever someone tries to bad mouth Chika, Azusa switches to a demon without warning. Further, the comedic timing works even with speedy transitions and strange time gaps between scenes. Characters are kind of just where they need to be at all times, which is a bit convenient, but it does move the plot along at a steady pace.
Star-Crossed!! Vol. 1 takes a chance by telling a story the incorporates fan girls, idols, gender switches, school, family life, romance, childhood friends, and business management all in one package. Surprisingly, it did a great job handling all of these themes, thanks to its quick pacing and focused plot. However, it doesn’t level much room to learn more about the characters outside their core traits: this girl is a fan, and this boy is an idol. So, I’m looking forward to the following volumes to explore more about these characters, which I’m sure is coming.
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